Saturday, August 23, 2014

Schwarzköpfe, the glamour shots.

Enjoy the rugged handsomeness of Marco's beemer, at ease in the urban jungle. What if this bike was for sale some day....?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ode to the daily driver - Reprise

Once again I find myself looking at my Sportster and feeling rather ashamed at the state of it.
You've seen the rear tire looking a bit past its best, and now this:

First of all, I got a new rear tire and realised just how worn the old one had gotten:
As for the tail light, it's ok, it wasn't stolen, it fell off: the plastic mounting looks like it broke, and thinking back I was able to figure out where I lost it. A few days later I went back looking for it and found a trail of ruby red shards leading me to the mangled remains of the tail light. 
 Roads in Rome have gotten particularly disgraceful lately thanks to extensive "upgrades" to the gas mains throughout the city: who knew that lead pipes were bad for you?! After all, we've had them for a couple thousand years, why change now?!
Re-paving blacktop is an afterthought, and the result is bits falling off my bike. Oh well.

As it is, the old one was already broken and patched up anyway, so this is actually a good excuse to replace it. Let's see how long this one lasts.

Who knows, I might even get to clean the whole bike one day!

Monday, August 18, 2014

The boys are back in town.

After a grueling, rain soaked alpine tour, the boys are back in town. Despite the adverse weather, they assure me they had a good time and put bikes and gear through their paces. So much so, that they're thinking of some radical upgrades for future trips... oh dear. Anyway, they've promised to share all their photos with me so we can all see what they got up to, whereas I only have one photo to offer. I was able to ride out on Saturday and head for the Futa pass where I met up with them for the last night of their trip, then we rode back together yesterday, not without incident*, and are already planning a short weekend getaway for the end of September.

The Norton made the round trip without needing me to take out a single spanner, so I'm thrilled about that. I've now done about 1000km (is that 600 miles?) since I've rebuilt the top end, so I'd say that's a decent test to see what needs attention. There is excessive noise coming from somewhere within the valvetrain, but not always: when the engine is hot, and when it is accelerating, under load, it sounds as though the valves (I'd say on cylinder 1) were far too loose. Then if I back off the throttle it disappears and the engine runs very smoothly. The guys confirmed that there is no smoke whatsoever coming from the exhausts, and I don't think the noise I'm hearing is piston slap.
The noise doesn't seem to impair performance in any way whatsoever, and I think that if I'd lost a valve adjuster, or bent a valve, or a pushrod, I would have known about it.
So, I'll check a few things, test ride again and report when I have an answer.
Still, nice to know I've done a good enough job to take me there and back again.

(* an uncooperative generator on Marco's Beemer, diligently sorted out, repeatedly, by Witold.)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Korsikatreffen: Die Dolomiten-Ausgabe.

I went to see the boys off on their trip last night. They should have left at the crack of dawn today if they didn't party too hard. So perhaps they left at the crack of noon.
They've both fitted home made perspex windshields and have loaded up their bikes very neatly. Ride well guys, see you when you get back!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Kraken Wakes

I borrowed the title from an e-mail my friend Brian sent me after the long winter slumber we all endured, and it seems fitting for the occasion. It's also a book...
Working on my own motorcycles is always rewarding and although what I've done is by no means an exceptional feat, I am still well chuffed with the result (more testing will follow):

Apologies for the ugly mirror, but it was necessary for the MOT, which it passed with ease. 
Notice the Holy Mountain in the background, the photo above was taken after I came up, over and down it, making for a proper shake down ride that revealed that everything is functioning as it should. 
Carburation is responding in a predictable fashion now, and I will be able to adjust as needed once the breaking-in period is over. More on this to follow, as I can say that I have learned a lot about tuning Amals from this experience.
There is but one minor leak from the number 2 exhaust valve cover, all it needs is the cover itself sanded down and perhaps just a dab of sealant on the lower half of the gasket.
Otherwise, the Commando is now a real pleasure to ride, as opposed to how it was before.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

new page

I've compiled a very long page to outline the story of my Fastback, you can find it by clicking on the black and yellow Norton logo on the right hand side column. If you absolutely have nothing better to do.


Monday, August 4, 2014

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Panniers, done.

Dad fitted the new aluminium panniers to the R100GS, and they look great! Alignment looks spot-on, well done.



Friday, August 1, 2014

Test complete.

Test ride indicated nominal performance of all vehicle systems.